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How to Pick Internet Service Providers

From Speed and Connection Types to Add-Ons Like Phone Service, Here’s What You Should Consider

Today, the internet is a regular fixture of people’s lives. Bills are paid, mail is received, and accounts are organized online. People use it to listen to music, watch movies and television, and talk to friends half a world away. And then there’s the online multiplayer gaming community, research for assignments, and a thousand other ways it’s changed the way we do things.

Because of this, picking the correct internet service provider, or ISP, can feel as overwhelming as choosing the right dentist or buying the perfect home. Not everyone has the same needs, and not every internet company meets your specific needs. But this selection process doesn’t have to be stressful. When you follow these tips, picking the best ISP for your home can be a breeze.

Connection Types

Not surprisingly, not every type of internet has the same benefits. Considering which type of connection would work best for you can help you narrow down your list of potential internet service providers substantially. DSL, or digital subscriber line, uses your phone service line to connect, and provides a very stable connection for an affordable price. Cable internet, on the other hand, provides faster maximum speeds, but your speed is divided between other households in the area, meaning that your internet will be slower during peak periods.

Some ISPs are beginning to offer fiber optic service, which uses light to carry signals. Fiber connections are incredibly fast compared to other types of service, but they are limited by geography.

Variety of Service

If you only need to go online to check your e-mails and catch up with your Facebook friends, then chances are, you’re not going to need the super-fast, unlimited bandwidth package that costs a lot more than other options. If you’re regularly challenging your friends in World of Warcraft campaigns, or binge-watching entire seasons on Netflix, however, you might. Look at the variety of packages offered by internet service providers, and consider how much speed and bandwidth is appropriate for how you use the internet. Do they have a package that is right for you and fits in your budget? It’s also important to consider who you’ll share your connection with, e.g. roommates, family, et cetera.

Extra Features

15 years ago, it was common for ISPs to add in bonuses like a free personal e-mail address. Today, free e-mail is abundant, but there are still quality add-ons. Some bundles will include options for home phone service, for example. While some people are entirely reliant on cell phones, families with children, larger households, and businesses still consider home phone service a must. Features like this can make or break internet service providers.

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